Jul 15, 2010

Almond Butter- Daring Cooks July Challenge

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

So I am officially a Daring Cook! I have participated in my very first Daring Cooks challenge and it was awesome! For those of you not in the know, Daring Cooks is a foodie challenge; every month a new challenge is posted and the participants all create some dish using the challenge item. This month's challenge was "nut butters." (Isn't that just so ironic? My first one is all about nuts.) Luckily for me, I'm not allergic to almonds and so I was still able to participate in this challenge. I made an almond butter then used the almond butter in a curried chicken dish. The recipes were given by Daring Cooks, so they aren't original for anything, but everyone should really try it. This is one of my new favorite chicken dishes and I'm sure it's going to become a weeknight go-to meal.
So for today's post I will explain the process of making a nut butter, then the next post will be about using it in the curried chicken dish. Honestly, it's 12 am and I am just not in the mood for typing.

Nut Butters (Almond Butter)
1 cup almonds
canola/vegetable oil

Grind the almonds in a food processor until they start to form together into a sort of paste. This will go faster if the almonds don't have the skins, but that's kind of a personal preference thing. Then drizzle in the oil until the almond butter reaches the desired consistency and salt to taste. Again with the personal preferences, but you can make it chunky or smooth here. This will give you about 1/2 cup of almond butter, in general the amount of original almonds is divided by two to make the butter.
A potential variation is to roast the almonds. I did this and I thought that the butter had a richer flavor because of it. Roasting the almonds is very easy, so I definitely recommend trying it. Preheat the oven to 350F and lay the almonds out on a baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let the almonds cool before grinding. Also at this point I took the skins off the almonds. I left a few on for the hell of it, but I tried to get the majority of the skin off.
So there you go! Almond butter!

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